The nuclear optionFigurf

World oil and gas production to 2050

The UK has problems regarding its nuclear capacity. Recently questions have been raised about the government's estimates of future generation capacity within the nuclear industry. Environment Data Services have described them as 'heroically optimistic', a verdict which therefore also applies to the government's target of 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2010 since that target assumes full bore production by its ageing reactors. In fact nuclear output dropped 4 per cent in 1999 and 10 per cent in 2000 and in the latter year coal fired generation was up 13 per cent. All but two of the Magnox stations have closure dates before 2008. The pressurised water and gas cooled reactors have been beset with problems. By 2014 75 per cent of nuclear will have been decommissioned. The DTI's energy predictions assume that, for the next decade, the creaking nuclear industry will operate at full capacity with an unprecedented rate of efficiency. After that, renewables, gas generation and possibly a new batch of nuclear generators will fill the vacuum. As we have noted gas has its uncertainties. The projected fuel mix for the UK in 2010 is:

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